Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How Far Up Your A** Do You Have to Stick Your Head to Think This Way?

I was looking at a blog tonight (I won't mention it because I wouldn't want to give it traffic) and couldn't believe what the author actually thought. But I have to give background before I get to the stupidity of the post.

Stefan Sharkansky is part of a conservative political group blog, which is probably how he's best known on the internet. I first came across Sharkansky's writing for a now-defunct (but wonderful) blog called Oh, That Liberal Media. I know little else about Sharkansky, except that he is a computer consultant and politically conservative. That is, that's all I knew until reading about a Seattle waitress who felt her job included psychoanalyzing and criticizing her customers along with refilling their tea glasses and serving them over-priced pizza.

Why would said waitress decide attacking patrons was good for the business? I have no idea. But attack them, she did, on her own little-known blog, calling Sharkansky a bad tipper, describing his wife as "wearing the pants of the family," and comparing Sharkansky's son to the spawn of Satan. To liberals, attacking Republicans as cheap, mean-spirited, and, worse, bad parents, is all par for the course. You see, if Sharkansky only left a 10% tip, it's not because the service was bad. It's because he has a problem.

When Sharkansky discovered what the waitress had said about him on the internet, he did what virtually any blogger would do. He investigated her and blogged about it. Here is Sharkansky's post about the waitress.

Here is the important part of Sharkansky's post:

Steffany Bell is a waitress (now also temping at Amazon) who recently gave a wildly imaginative and mostly false and defamatory story to an anonymous blogger about my family's visits to her restaurant. She identified me by name and wrote some nasty and untrue things about our pre-school-aged son. She tried to do this anonymously, but I figured out who she was.

My wife and son are not public figures and do not deserve to be defamed. I asked Steffany repeatedly and politely to delete the false and defamatory post. She admitted she was wrong, but refused to have the post deleted. There's not much to say about a service worker who would be so unprofessional as to recognize a customer by the name on his credit card and then slander him on the Internet because she doesn't agree with his politics. And there's really not much to say about a 37-year-old woman who would anonymously slander a pre-schooler. But in defense of my family and especially my son who can't defend himself, I've decided to name Steffany Bell and post excerpts from her blog so anybody who reads her story about my son can read more about Steffany in her own words and make up their own minds about her character and credibility.

Sharkansky goes on to quote from Bell's own blog where she discusses her own juvenile delinquent, her personal problems, and more. But the point is clear: Sharkansky isn't arguing about her opinions about him per se, although he disagrees with her views and behavior. What is offensive is her attacks on his wife and child.

Sharkansky's wife called the restaurant and complained about Bell's behavior, and guess what? She got fired. It's not uncommon these days, for people to get fired for what they write on blogs. And when you work with the public and insult the customers, it's not uncommon for your boss to want to fire you. After all, you cost the company money, whereas the customer brings money in...or takes his money elsewhere and bad-mouths your business.

Oddly enough, blogger-who-shall-not-be-named thinks the problem really is...that Sharkansky is a bad tipper. Yep, that's the lesson learned by that person. Not that you don't accuse people of abusing their kids or call their kids brats if you expect said parents to fork over their hard-earned cash for your service. Not that posting ugly things about people on the internet because you disagree with them politically can come back to bite you on the ass big time in real life. Nope. All the moonbats learned, evidently, is that Sharkansky is a lousy tipper.

Evidently, this story is a pearl-clutching event for the moonbats. Rather than realizing, as most people who work for a living do, that you can't insult the customers and keep your job, they see the Sharkanskys complaints as a witch hunt.

Bell finally did apologize for her behavior and says it was a "mutual decision" for her to leave the restaurant. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.
My place it (sic) to smile and serve food. It is not to comment on what my customers are doing in the restaurant. I should have known better. I should also realize that sometimes people act differently in different situations and as a person who only has contact with someone for a short period of time, I have no right to say that is how they are. I was misguided and also mistaken, as has been pointed out to me. I was wrong and I do not intend to work in food service in the future so to avoid perhaps offending another unsuspecting family. I am sorry. Please, please forgive me. Please don't take it out on other food service workers.

The moonbats are up in arms at the apology. The problem is, it's the truth. A waitress's job is to serve food and be hospitable, not to comment on their behavior. The worst part, of course, is that Bell wasn't simply commenting on the Sharkanskys behavior. She stated that their child was "Damien from The Omen" and "a monkey." She then said:
His parents just allowed it, which said to me:
A.) Parents allow it all the time
B.) Parents beat him all the time (except in public)

I would be surprised if any parent didn't object to this description of their child. Complaining to the management that the waitress posted this on the internet is a reasonable thing to do.

Amusingly, in the comments section, blogger gets upset with a commenter who points out that annoying customers are a fact of life when you work in the service industry. If you don't like them, don't do the work. Blogger's response?
I bet you're a lousy tipper, too.

You really just can't stick your head far enough up your ass to understand some people's POV.

More liberal whining here, which includes this gem:
What Song and Sharkansky have both failed to acknowledge is that there's a difference between major political bloggers, like Sharkansky and Goldstein, and obscure personal bloggers with Blogspot accounts, like, until recently, Bell. (Bell took her account down and no longer blogs.) Sharkansky is a public figure; Bell is not. "As the proprietor of the most widely read political blog in Washington State," Goldstein says of Sharkansky, "you have power, and this woman had none. You don't use a position of power to attack the powerless." Bell says that until the blowup over Gerard's blog post, she "had no idea who Sharkansky was." She says, she's learned her lesson. "I'll never put anything on the internet again, ever," Bell says.

What the author fails to acknowledge is that Bell's behavior was rude and boorish, regardless of who Sharkansky is. She didn't just criticize a public figure. She cruelly labelled a young child because she disliked his behavior. Worse still, she didn't simply sneer at the Sharkanskys; she wrote nasty posts about other patrons, as well. If it had been an isolated incident, perhaps it would have been all right. But Bell wrote repeatedly about the clientele at the restaurant. You can't diss the customers and keep your job.

More nutty moonbat shrieking here.

Sharkansky's comments here, including refutations to virtually everything the moonbats are saying.
Our son is a properly supervised, normally behaved 5-year-old, not always perfect, but in no way as described by Steffany. It seems silly to have to refute the false claim that I'm a "10% tipper". We always tip 15% or more at that restaurant and everywhere else, except in very rare occasions if the service is exceptionally lousy or slow. I don't recall if I ever did tip Steffany only 10%, but if I had, it would have been an isolated incident of substandard service. Heck, 10% might have even been generous given the circumstances. And if the service was unusually and painfully slow one evening, it would help explain if our son was more restless than usual. The only specific detail about our son's behavior in Steffany's account that I can confirm is that he sat briefly at an adjacent unoccupied table one evening. But if we had one off evening, we've been happy regular customers there for nearly a year, and as Steffany indicated in a comment on her own blog to my wife: "the girl who waits on you currently has no beef."

I did not "get Steffany fired", nor did I "send a relative to the restaurant to physically threaten her". After my wife read the "interview" and was shaken and appalled, she called the restaurant owner last Wednesday, not with any specific request, but simply to alert him to the "interview" and to an additional blog post Steffany wrote which disparaged her customers [see June 21 entry]. The owner was horrified and made the decision to terminate Steffany and indicated that he also had other causes to terminate her. By the end of the week Steffany and her boss had reached a mutual decision that she would resign. It was only on Friday evening, Steffany's last day of work after she had already resigned, that my wife and 14-year-old stepdaughter visited the restaurant to rebuke Steffany in person (After they suggested to me that they might visit the restaurant, I advised them that this was unnecessary and not to do it, but they went anyway without my knowledge). My step-daughter quietly spoke about 10 words to Steffany, before Steffany turned on her heels and walked away. My wife and step-daughter promptly left. A pointless and unhelpful but harmless verbal confrontation that lasted less than a minute and did not entail any physical threats of any kind. It is also not at all true, as Hood wrote, that we "threatened to make trouble over at Amazon", where Steffany is working as a temp. That is false and baseless. Nor did we, as David Goldstein claimed on his KIRO radio show Sunday evening "threaten to sue the waitress for defamation". There is absolutely no truth to that.